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Canadian restaurant manager fired after refusing service to man wearing 'MAGA' hat

A floor manager at a popular Vancouver restaurant was fired after refusing service to a customer wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, CBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Darin Hodge, who worked at Vancouver’s Stanley Park Teahouse for 18 months, said the incident began Tuesday when he asked the customer to remove his red MAGA baseball cap, Global News reported. The red caps with the slogan were an important part of Donald Trump’s campaign strategy en route to the presidency in 2016.

When the customer refused to remove the hat, Hodge asked the patron to leave the restaurant, Global News reported.

In an emailed statement, Hodge said he had no regrets.

“I stand by my decision to ask the patron to remove his hat. The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, islamaphobia (sic), misogyny, white supremacy, homophobia,” Hodge wrote. “As a person with a strong moral backbone, I had to take a stand against this guest’s choice of headwear while in my former place of work.”

According to Andy Crimp, the restaurant's general manager, the man was seated on the patio that evening when Hodge confronted him, CBC reported.

"(He) took over the table and requested that (the customer) take the hat off," Crimp said.

"(The customer) said he had a right to wear it. (Hodge) said if you don't take the hat off, we won't serve you. And the man left."

The Sequoia Company, which owns the restaurant, told CBC that Hodge was fired for not following its "philosophy of tolerance."

“Sequoia does not support intolerance of any kind, and it is because of these principles that we cannot discriminate against someone based on their support for the current administration in the United States or any other bona fide political party,” the company said in a statement.

Serena Williams joins Meghan Markle to watch Prince Harry at polo match

Tennis star Serena Williams took time off from her preparations to chase her eighth Wimbledon women’s singles title to join Meghan Markle in Ascot on Saturday to watch Prince Harry and Prince William compete in the Audi Polo Challenge, the Sunday Express reported.

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Williams, who has won seven women’s singles titles at Wimbledon, was accompanied by her husband, Alexis Ohanian. Williams canceled her pre-tournament news conference to attend the polo match, The Guardian reported. 

Williams, who won her seventh Wimbledon crown in 2016 before giving birth to her first child, is ranked 25th in this year’s tournament. She attended the royal wedding last month at Windsor Castle.

Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, attended the match to watch her husband, who made a surprise visit at a polo match for the second straight day, the Daily Mail reported.

Prince Harry attended a charity match at British Polo Day in Oxfordshire on Friday, the Daily Mail reported, helping to raise nearly $265,000.

Autistic girl who received poor report card gets new one from father

Some innovative parenting by a Tasmanian man helped his autistic daughter overcome the disappointment of a poor report card. He wrote his own report card, touting the girl’s strengths, and it has gone viral, The Daily Mail reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Sophie Jackson, 10, was distraught after bringing home a report card with all D’s, the Independent reported. The girl has autism spectrum disorder and cried when she came home, saying she let her family down.

Shane Jackson decided that a new report card was in order. He concentrated on Sophie’s personality traits instead of her academics, giving her A’s for being funny, for loving dogs, for fighting with the boys and for drawing and making robots, the Daily Mail reported.

Jackson, a consultant pharmacist and president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, added a pair of A+ grades for her imagination and for being “the best daughter ever,” the Independent reported.

“The best impact has been on Sophie. (The) next day she bumped out of the house, beaming, ready for school,” Jackson told the Daily Mail. “As a parent of an autistic child I'd like to tell other parents that they are not alone as I understand it can get challenging.”

Jackson decided to create a Twitter account for Sophie, who created a report card for her father. She was a little more critical, but gave her father A’s for “being annoying” and funny, a B for being funny, and a C when “he wrestles me.” But Sophie gave her father an A+ for starting her Twitter account and for being “the best dad ever.”

Photos: Flames burn Saddleworth Moor

Thousands of acres have burned in a wildfire in England.

‘Ash falling like rain’ as Saddleworth Moor fire burns near Manchester

A fire in northern England is being called unprecedented and is forcing residents from their countryside homes.

The blaze is burning the Saddleworth Moor, northeast of Manchester, and has burned 2,000 acres, CNN reported.

Dozens of homes have been evacuated, CNN reported.

“This fire is particularly large. We’ve got lots of experience with dealing with moor fires, but this particular incident is vast,” Leon Parker, assistant fire chief for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service told CNN.

One person who lives in the area told the BBC that the fire is bringing “ash falling like rain.” Another person likened the blaze to an apocalypse.

A council woman from Tameside said that firefighters are hoping for a “really good downpour” that could quickly help them put out the fire, the BBC reported.

“It’s as dry as a tinder box up there. A lot of winds are fanning the fire,” Brenada Warrington told the BBC.

The fire is also burning within the peat and is hard for the firefighters to put out, the BBC reported.

Saudi air defenses intercept 2 missiles from Yemen, state media says

Saudi Arabia’s state-run television station said Sunday that the country’s air defense intercepted two ballistic missiles launched over Riyadh, Reuters reported.

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The attack, which the station alleged was  launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia, is at least the sixth to target Riyadh since December.

Six blasts were heard and bright flashes were seen in the sky over the Saudi capital city, Reuters reported.

There were no reported casualties or damage, a witness told Reuters.

There was no comment from Saudi officials authorities or from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen against the Houthi movement.

German explosion: 25 hurt, 4 seriously, in Wuppertal blast

At least 25 people were hurt in an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, police said Sunday.

According to The Associated Press, four victims were hurt "severely" in the blast and ensuing fire late Saturday at a "several-story building." The other victims suffered slight injuries, the AP reported

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"It can currently not be ruled out that there are still other people in the building," police said Sunday, according to Deutsche Welle. "The rescue efforts are ongoing."

Authorities are looking into what caused the blast, the AP reported.

Read more here.

Grass poisoning could be cause for 'drunk' kangaroos, veterinarians say

Veterinarians in Australia are conducting tests to determine whether kangaroos that appear to be drunk have actually suffered neurological damage because of a strain of grass, The Guardian reported.

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The veterinarians, from the University of Melbourne, said Phalaris aquatica -- a common pasture crop in central Victoria -- have caused the suffering among eastern gray kangaroos, the Guardian reported. Wildlife officials said the kangaroos were suffering from Phalaris “staggers,” which is common among sheep and cattle that graze in Australia.

“A kangaroo with full-blown toxicity is just horrible,” Manfred Zabinskas from Five Freedoms Animal Rescue told Guardian Australia. “Their head flies around like they have got a broken neck; they summersault; they crash into fences and trees … they look like they are drunk.”

Phalaris, also known as canary grass, is a tall grass common to southeastern Australia. Some farmers have avoided planting the species because the “staggers” can cause heart failure among animals, the Guardian reported.

In domestic animals, the condition can be controlled by adding copper into their diet. But in kangaroos, the condition is believed to be irreversible, the Guardian reported.

“The kindest thing to do is to euthanize them,” Zabinskas said.

French priest who slapped child during baptism ceremony retires

The French Catholic priest who slapped a 2-year-old boy during a baptism ceremony said he regretted his decision and announced his retirement, The Daily Mail reported.

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A video of Father Jacques Lacroix, 89, went viral after Sunday’s baptism ceremony in the southeastern suburbs of Paris.

Reddit user posted video that showed a clearly irritated Lacroix using his left hand to slap the child. The video also was posted on YouTube.

The furor caused the priest to resign.

>> Watch: Priest slaps crying baby during baptism ceremony

“I apologized for my clumsiness to the family. I am finishing my ministry now, it was my last baptism,” Lacroix said. “There is an end to everything.”

During the video, Lacroix tells the child to “Calm down, calm down, you must calm down.” He tells the boy to be quiet before squeezing the boy’s face in his hands, the Daily Mail reported.

The priest then stared at the boy before using his left hand to slap him.

The boy’s parents and family reacted immediately, with the child’s father wrestling him away from the priest, the Daily Mail reported.

Lacroix Jacques denied the slap was too hard, telling France Info radio on Friday that “It was somewhere between a caress and a slap, I hoped to calm him down, I didn't know what to do.”

“The child was screaming a lot and I had to turn his head to pour water over it.

I told him to ‘calm down, calm down,’ but he was not calming down,” Lacroix said. “I tried to hold him close. I just wanted him to calm down.”

The bishop of Meaux, Jean-Yves, told the Daily Mail that he had “taken measures so that the priest is suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”

North Korea, South Korea discuss reuniting divided families

Officials from North Korea and South Korea met Friday for talks to arrange reunions for families separated by the Korean War, Reuters reported.

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The meeting, held in Mount Kumgang, North Korea, comes after the two sides agreed in April that a reunion could mark a common national holiday in August.

The temporary reunions will be held at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort from Aug. 20-26, Seoul's Unification Ministry said. The countries each will send 100 people to the reunions, The Independent reported.

The negotiations are part of the effort promised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to improve relations between the two nations, Reuters reported.

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